When Will Schools Reopen?
The most common question educators hear these days is "When will students go back to school?" Recently, the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Department of Public Health released a 10-page document with consideration and recommendations for Georgia's schools. "Georgia's Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools" provides a tiered approach with clear, actionable steps that are advisable before students and employees return to school buildings, along with guidance that is applicable throughout the 2020-2021 school year.
We are planning to open school on Friday, August 14. The new school year will include multiple safety measures to stop the spread of COVID 19. We want to keep you informed and connected to the planning of Lee County Schools as we consider the impact of COVID 19 on students, families, staff, and our community. We are working closely with public health officials as well as state and local officials.
We will reopen schools with two possible options:
Option one - Students will return to in-person learning (on school campuses) with enhanced safety and health protocols that have been established.
Option two - Students will start the school year with virtual (online) learning at home.
Our first priority will be to start the school year with staff and students under option one. We are considering several additional health and safety protocols to ensure safety. We will share additional plans for reopening schools on July 15 via our district website. Some may not feel comfortable with their students returning to "in-person" school; thus, they may wish to choose option two. There will be an "opt-in" period available on the district website for those requesting option two starting July 8 and running through July 15.
Please note that virtual learning when schools open will not be the same as the virtual experience this past spring. The expectations and rigor for virtual learning will be the same as in-person learning, and virtual students should plan to have full school days Monday-Friday. Families who choose virtual learning will follow district grading, participation, and engagement expectations. Families will need to make a significant commitment to facilitate virtual learning.
The only way that option two would happen for all students is if there is an executive order from the Governor's office or another governing agency closing schools for in-person learning. If that were to happen, Lee County Schools will go to virtual learning for all students with a plan to move to option one once schools are eligible to reopen.
As you begin to evaluate these two options as a family, you will receive a survey that will be available from June 25 - July 1 (the link should be at the bottom of this email). The survey is for district planning purposes only. Completing the survey will not commit your child to a particular option. After completing the preliminary survey, we invite you to join us for a virtual Town Hall on July 8, at 4:00 PM, where we will discuss in more detail the back to school planning for Lee County Schools and provide a time for questions and answers.
Finally, you may have heard of "blended learning" (hybrid) models that suggest alternative attendance days like going to school part of the time (two days per week, one week on / one week off, or having morning and afternoon sessions that combine in-person learning with virtual learning). We do not believe this is a viable option at this time; however, we will consider such a model if directed to do so by the Governor's office or other governing agency.
The situation with COVID 19 and the decisions that schools need to consider continue to evolve. The safety and health of students, staff, and community are and will continue to be the priority as we look to the start of a new school year.
If you have any questions, please visit our website or email email@example.com . Thank you for your patience and understanding. We look forward to welcoming our students back to school in August.